Ask the expert: how to sell a home with pets

by Housesimple on 5th May 2016

Whether you're a dog person, a cat lover or a ferret enthusiast, we're sure your pet is the apple of your eye. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. When you're selling your home, your furry friend could be a major turn-off for buyers. It could also hit your bottom line: evidence of pet ownership can knock thousands of your sale price.

Here are our tips on how to sell your house when you're a dedicated pet lover:

Keep them out of the way

Pets can be a major distraction during viewings. Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to mind them. Ideally this should be for the entirety of the time your property is on the market, but if you can't bear to be parted for so long, ask someone to take them during viewings. If no one is available, you can use pet sitting websites like Borrow My Doggy or DogVacay to find animal lovers who'll take care of your pal while you sell up.

Call in the professionals

Let's face it: some pets smell. When we live with them we don't always notice, but potential buyers may be struck as soon as they walk through the door. Strong smells are one of the main reasons buyers decide not to pursue a sale, so eliminating odours is important. Have your carpets professionally washed, along with any soft furnishings that your pet likes to sleep on (even if they're not allowed to). If you're only sending your pet off during viewings, consider having them professionally groomed.

Fix damage

Cats and dogs cause £4 billion worth of damage in British homes every year. Walk through your home and examine it carefully for evidence of scratching and chewing. Pay especially close attention to fixtures that will be included in the sale. Areas to look at are carpets, skirting boards, bannisters, fence posts, doors and wooden floors.

Borrow a pair of eyes (and a nose)

You're so used to your home that it's easy to stop noticing the little things. Invite your most brutally honest friend round and get them to point out anything you've not noticed. They'll be particularly useful for telling you if there are any funky smells, or any signs of damage that you didn't see the first time around.